Brothers in arms honored
Distinguished Family of Service awards bestowed
WELLSBURG — The Brooke County Veterans Memorial Park Foundation held its fourth-annual Distinguished Family of Service on Memorial Day at Brooke Hills Park.
Every year, the foundation chooses two local families to honor, with the requirement that more than one family member must have served.
“We started this as a way to honor more veterans,” said foundation member Paul “Bud” Billiard. “We can honor as many veterans as a family has to offer.”
Since the start of the Distinguished Family of Service event in 2016, the foundation has honored more than 40 veterans.
This year, those honored were of the Greathouse and Marino families.
From the Greathouse family, brothers Philip, Harold, Robert and George were honored. Philip Greathouse is the only surviving male sibling and received his brothers’ certificates on their behalfs.
Philip served in the Marines from 1960 to 1964. He was a radio field operator and was honored with the Rife Expert Medal, .45 Pistol Marksman Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. Philip serves as the official Honor Guard Bugler for the Tri-State Marines. Philip’s son Kenneth also served in the Army.
Harold Greathouse served from 1948 to 1952. He was a sergeant in the Air Force, in charge of maintenance and repair of T-6 Aircraft. Harold traveled the world teaching students to repair C-130 and C-141 airplanes.
Robert Greathouse was enlisted from 1962 to 1966 in the Air Force.
He was a base commander and machine gun operator who tested all officers and enlisted men. Robert Greathouse was rated an expert in the fire range. Robert Greathouse’s son, James, also served.
George Greathouse served from 1963 to 1965 in the Air Force. He was in the 862nd Supply Squad.
From the Marino family, brothers Raymond, William, Ernest, Sam, James, Alfred and Carmine were recognized for their service.
Raymond, Ernest and Carmine Marino are the surviving brothers; however, Raymond Marino was the only brother able to attend the service.
Raymond Marino served in the Air Force from 1958 to 1960. He was a fire and rescue protection service.
William Marino served from 1942 to 1945 in the Army. He was second lieutenant and earned the Army Commendation Ribbon, American Theater Ribbon, Asiatic Pacific Ribbon, Occupation Medal: Japan, Philippines, Liberation Ribbon, American Defense ribbon, and WWII Victory Medal. His children accepted his certificate on his behalf.
Ernest Marino, 99, also served in the Army from 1942 to 1995. He specialized in surgical technician. He was honored with the American Theater ribbon, Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal and World War II Victory Medal. His son, Darryl Marino, also served. His niece accepted his certificate on his behalf.
Sam Marino served from 1942 to 1946 in the Army. He was a clerk typist with the 97th Bomb Squadron. He earned the American Theater Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal and World War II Victory Medal. His son Steve Marino, accepted his certificate on his behalf.
James Marino served from 1943 to 1945 in the Army. He was a prisoner of war and served as a scout. He fought in the battle of Normandy and earned various awards such as the Combat Infantry Badge, American Theater Ribbon: European, African and Middle Eastern, with three battle stars, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal and World War II Victory Medal. His brother, Raymond Marino, accepted on his behalf.
Alfred Marino served from 1948 to 1952 in the Army. He was a corporal and earned the Occupational Medal: Germany.
Carmine Marino was a sergeant and served in the Army from 1961 to 1962. He was a clerk typist who now lives in Las Vegas. His nephew, Follansbee City Manager John DeStefano, accepted his certificate on his behalf.
DeStefano was the keynote speaker at the Memorial Day event.
“I can tell you growing up, sitting around at a family function, not once did any of my uncles talk about their time in the service,” said DeStefano.
In November, the city of Follansbee asked residents to buy banners with pictures of veterans to hang along State Route 2.
“The response was overwhelming,” noted DeStefano. “Looking into some of my relatives, I had an uncle, Uncle Dick. He was a heavy machine gun operator in Normandy and Battle of the Bulge. Never once growing up did he ever say anything about that. We watch the movies, we see what happens. I cannot even fathom what any of my relatives had gone through at the time. But that’s what we are here for, we are here to honor the memories of those who served and the ones who didn’t make it home.”
Event organizer Danna Taibi-Sullivan also awarded a plaque to Jim Brockman of the National American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Museum, Education and Research Center.
Sullivan gave a special thanks to the event sponsors and those who helped make the event possible which include, The Ohio Valley Veterans Memorial Squad, Tri State Young Marines, Gabe Arlia: Master Gunnery, Jim Brockman of National American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Museum, Education and Research Center, Wellsburg Kiawanis Club, Wellsburg Fraternal Order of the Moose, Brooke Hills Park, Brooke County Commissioners, Nancy Strope, co-pastor of Community of Christ Church, The Brooke County Veterans Memorial Park Foundation, Wintersville Trophy Shop, Follansbee Flower, Madrigal Choir of Brooke High School and Eleanor Elliott for the Blue Star Mothers Flags.